WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday moved closer to issuing a final rule that publicly traded companies disclose to their shareholders about the change. The risk to climate change, both its operation and its own contribution. to solve the problem.
Public comments on the proposal closed on Friday, with more than 100,000 opinions submitted since March by companies, auditors, trade groups, lawmakers, private individuals and others.
Comments ranged from skepticism about the authority of the SEC to regulate data such as greenhouse gas emissions to praise the nation’s top financial regulator for ultimately requiring climate-related disclosures. Other opinions reflect concerns about the costs involved for holding companies.
If the new rule goes into effect, publicly traded companies will have to report their greenhouse gas emissions data in their annual reports and other filings. Large companies must also disclose emissions data relating to their suppliers and whether their climate risks affect their investors.
For example, the new SEC regulation would require companies to disclose in annual filings whether climate change is expected to affect an item by more than 1% and explain how.
“It’s incredibly accurate,” said Margaret Peloso, a partner at the firm Vinson & Elkins, which focuses on climate change risk management and environmental litigation. “It is much more detailed than many other financial reporting requirements.”
Companies must also report on the physical impact of high temperatures due to hurricanes, droughts and global warming. They must describe how extreme weather events affect their finances, formulate plans to reduce climate risks, and describe any progress made in meeting climate-related goals.
Alex Thornton, senior director of fiscal policy at the Center for American Progress, said, “It’s about fixing the market problem … .
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